In a profession that’s filled to the brim with narcissists, sociopaths, and incompetents, Mitt Romney strikes me as a competent, well organized businessman and a genuinely decent human being. Those are not things that you can say about most of the politicians in D.C., including the President of the United States.
That being said, Mitt Romney is not a conservative, particularly honest or likable, terribly gifted at governance or even a good politician. That last one is particularly notable because Mitt Romney, who is cut out of the same cloth as Bob Dole and John McCain, was sold to Republican primary voters as “the most electable candidate.”
That is, was, and always has been nonsense.
That’s why I wrote a column called, 7 Reasons Why Mitt Romney’s Electability Is A Myth. It’s worth reading again because other than the war on women tripe, it’s practically a roadmap to the tactics the Obama campaign used to beat Mitt into the ground.
Here are just a few excerpts from the piece.
Let’s be perfectly honest: Mitt Romney excites no one except for Mormons, political consultants, and Jennifer Rubin. To everybody else on the right, Mitt Romney vs. Barack Obama would be a “lesser of two evils” election where we’d grudgingly back Mitt because we wouldn’t lose as badly with him in the White House as we would with Obama. That’s not the sort of thing that gets people fired up to make phone calls, canvass neighborhoods, or even put up “I heart Mitt” signs in their yards.
…Barack Obama won North Carolina, Virginia, and Florida in 2008 and you can be sure that he will be targeting all three of those states again. This is a problem for Romney because he would be much less likely than either Gingrich or Perry to carry any of those states. Moderate northern Republicans have consistently performed poorly in the south and Romney won’t be any exception. That was certainly the case in 2008 when both McCain and Huckabee dominated Romney in primaries across the south. Mitt didn’t win a single primary in a southern state and although he finished second in Florida, he wasn’t even competitive in North Carolina or Virginia. Since losing any one of those states could be enough to hand the election to Obama in a close race, Mitt’s weakness there is no small matter.
…However, in a year when Obama will be running a populist campaign and Occupy Wall Street is demonizing the “1%,” Mitt Romney will be a TAILOR MADE villain for them. …Imagine pictures of dilapidated, long since closed factories. They trot out scruffy looking workers talking about how bad life has been since Mitt Romney crushed their dreams and cost them their jobs. Then they show a clip of Mitt making his $10,000 bet and posing with money in his clothes. All Mitt needs is a monocle and a sniveling Waylon Smithers type character to follow him around shining his shoes to make him into the prototypical bad guy the Democrats are trying to create.
…There are a lot of issues with trying to run a candidate who doesn’t seem to have any core principles. It makes it impossible for his supporters to get excited about him because you can’t fall in love with a weathervane. Even worse, since politicians tend to be such liars anyway and you know Romney has no firm beliefs, it’s very easy for everyone to assume the worst. Democrats will feel that Romney will be a right wing death-beast. Republicans will think that Romney will screw them over. Independents won’t know what to believe, which will make the hundreds of millions that Obama will spend on attack ads particularly effective. Ronald Reagan famously said the GOP needed “a banner of no pale pastels, but bold colors.” That’s particularly relevant when it comes to Mitt Romney who has proven to be a pasty grey pile of formless mush.
If you’re wondering which candidates would have been more electable than Mitt, at a minimum I’d say Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum. You can deny that if you like, but most conservatives I know privately have been saying that they don’t think this election should have even been close. They think Mitt should have won in a LANDSLIDE.
That’s especially true since Barack Obama is not just a horrible President, he ran a terrible campaign. He focused on trivia, he undercut his own favorability with his nastiness, he was out of it in his first debate and he showed himself to have a tin ear. But, just as Claire McCaskill lucked out to be up against Todd Akin, Barack Obama was incredibly fortunate to be taking on Mitt Romney in the Big Show.
Now, all that being said, I didn’t pout, kick my feet, and hold my breath until I turned blue when Mitt Romney won the primaries. I didn’t get angry that everyone in the party didn’t have the same opinion of Mitt Romney that I did. To the contrary, although I have never taken back a single word that I’ve written about Mitt Romney or misled people about what I believe, I tried to do my part to help him win by writing columns like Why The Founder Of NotMittRomney.com Has Already Voted For Mitt Romney, Mitt Romney In Pictures (30 Pictures), and 7 Incredible Personal Stories About Mitt Romney That You May Not Know — which was even linked by the Romney campaign and forwarded more than 21,000 times on Facebook. I may not like Mitt Romney, but a competent, moderate, decent Republican beats a hapless, immoral far left-winger any day.
Additionally, despite Mitt Romney’s enormous grab bag of weaknesses, I always thought he had a good shot to win. In fact last night, like Karl Rove, Michael Barone, George Will and Larry Kudlow, I thought Mitt would take the election because I believed the state polls were systematically overestimating Democrat support. We bought into the idea that Gallup and Rasmussen were judging the composition of the electorate more accurately than the other pollsters and it turns out we were wrong. Of course, when you had the least electable Republican candidate since Goldwater up against the worst President in American history, it’s like an irresistible force coming up against an immovable object: One of them has to lose.
That takes me back to a conversation I had with someone who seemed to be, like far too many Republicans, supporting Mitt Romney mainly because he thought he would win the primary. After Romney won some decisive late victory in the primaries that seemed to put him too far ahead of Santorum and Romney for either to catch up, this person seemed to be extremely pleased with his decision to back Romney because it looked like Mitt was going to win. He asked me if I wanted to admit that I was wrong about supporting, well, pretty much anybody other than Gary Johnson or Ron Paul instead of Mitt Romney.
I said, “Tell me I’m wrong after Mitt wins the primary, then beats Obama, and then governs like a conservative.” Unfortunately, Mitt never had a chance to let us down in the White House because he lost an election that Mr. Potatohead should have been able to win. Unfortunately, we didn’t have Mr. Potatohead on the ticket; we had Mitt Romney and he turned out to be worse.